- Editor's Rating
- Impressive audio power
- Easy setup
- Aux input
- Normal Bluetooth quality
Quick TakeA portable speaker which provides compact size, exceptional ease of use, and solid speaker power.
If you’re looking for a Bluetooth speaker, the iClever model is cheap, tiny, and boastful. Does it perform to its claims? We find out.
Build & Design
First off, although it’s branded “iClever,” the device we’re talking about is built by a company called Hisgadget, and sold primarily through Amazon.com. Out of the box, it does not look terribly impressive. Smaller than a fist, it’s a basically just an elongated black cube,with a speaker grille on the top and some basic controls. It has a single blue indicator LED under the combination Bluetooth icon/speakerphone button.
The entire device is covered over in plastic; the Amazon listing talks about a “zinc alloy shell,” but this is marketing speak to describe pot metal under hematite-grey plastic. Still, it looks pretty sleek, and the translucent blue trim plays up the “Bluetooth” angle. The bottom of the device has three buttons which serve as play/pause, repeat/volume down, and skip/volume up, as well as the power switch.
Setting it up was just about the easiest experience we’ve ever had with Bluetooth. The minute we turned it on, it was visible to my Bluetooth devices; one click, then it was connected and ready to play. Once that’s done, it’ll reconnect automatically once turned on. A far cry from the older era of Bluetooth pairing. No, it’s not terribly secure, but then we’re not terribly worried about somebody else being able to play audio over this gadget. The speaker also features a 3.5mm auxiliary input for sound, just in case you want to use it with a device which doesn’t have Bluetooth.
Once we did get it turned on and connected, THEN we became kind of impressed. For such a small device, the amount of volume coming out of it was substantial. It supplies both quality and quantity, including a surprising amount of bass from such a tiny device. It can comfortably put out enough to overpower even a moderately noisy environment, and the range is more than good enough to provide, say, background music at an outdoor get together, or some sound in the kitchen.
The downsides are pretty much the ones that are inevitable with this sort of design. With only one speaker you’re not exactly going to get a high-end audio experience. And with any kind of Bluetooth audio connection, you’re going to lose a LITTLE more quality on your audio than you would with wires. Still, surround sound it might not be, but it’s definitely going to outperform just about anything else that you can pick up and carry in one pocket.
Of course, as is pretty standard for such devices, the iClever also includes a microphone, allowing it to function as a Bluetooth hands-free system for smartphones, as well as anything that you might need a microphone for on your tablet. Quality is average, but quite acceptable, and setup is also easy.
As long as you know what you’re getting, the iClever Bluetooth speaker is a pretty good deal. It’s simple, easy to use, and well suited to putting on a little music when you’re on the go; a boombox rather than a home theater. But for the price and the performance, it’s good.